Plant protection products (PPP) can betransported from treated fields to surface waters via surface runoff during rain events. Potential risks for aquatic organisms due to surface runoff are assessed during the registration process for PPP, and risk mitigation measures are implemented if necessary. Currently, a vegetated buffer zone of 6 m width may be required as risk mitigation measure for surface runoff. Further options for risk mitigation of surface runoff that can be linked to PPP registration were evaluated at Agroscope on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. These options should effectively reduce the contamination of surface waters while minimizing impacts on agricultural productivity. The list of mitigation measures resulting from this project offers farmers the possibility to combine those measures that are best suited for their particular situation or those that are already implemented for other reasons (e.g., for erosion control). Besides vegetated buffer zones, these include e.g. conservation tillage, vegetated strips within the field and use of cover crops in orchards and vineyards
Gilgen A., Felder R., Baumgartner S., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Séchaud R., Paunovic S., Merbold L.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Soil samples can be measured directly in the field by means of spectroscopy. Agroscope researchers have tested mobile devices and shown how to make the best use of them.